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Virtual artist talk: Thurs. June 3 at 5 pm

Online Art Hive: Sat. June 26 from 10 am to 12 pm

Exhibition (Gallery 1): June 4 to 26, 2021

Showing one’s vulnerability can seem unacceptable to some, but a private sentiment of aloneness is vividly fuming here. This series of work presents the culmination of scenes floating in the artist’s mind, an odd combination of images that portrays his desire for a sense of emotional continuity and psychological belonging. Borrowing the concept of fantasy from Korean folk paintings and graphic novels, Jongwook Park is stimulated by the bold strokes and graphic stillness of these two iconographies as he visualizes his contemplative inner scape, revealing in each piece both his consciousness and subconscious mind. Starting with an ambiguous formation of doodles, the artist continues working until the piece reaches a flat space where there is no gravity. Through these symbolic forms, he explores conditions of emotional displacement and creates a surreal landscape to evade negative feelings. Each work is a fragment of the journey in his dreamscape, his inner world.

South Korea-born Jongwook Park holds an MFA in Communication Design from Sangmyung University (Seoul) and a diploma in Animation Art and Design from LaSalle College (Montreal). Living in a foreign land forced him out of his psychological comfort zone, a disorientation that led him to objectively re-examine the familiar. His artwork draws on traditional art practices while adopting new techniques and is distinguished by his unique treatment of line drawing. His work has been presented in exhibitions and publications in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as South Korea, Japan, and United States.

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Delusory Comforts

Virtual artist talk: Thurs. June 3 at 5 pm

Exhibition (Gallery 2): June 4 to 26, 2021

With the drawings and ceramic pieces in this exhibition Saba Heravi investigates the self in relation to the complexities of womanhood and an impossible definition of femininity. Inspired by Persian miniatures and folktales, she creates a universe of fantastical stories inhabited by women. Her characters are frequently born of her personal experience and, like the artist, are in the midst of self-investigation. There is a silence in their worlds as they live through emotional allegories that have no conclusion. These women engage blithely, as if nothing unusual is happening, in dark, playful, strange acts, while they face everyday challenges also shared by the artist. Through these women, Saba speaks about her own prodigious, unconscious memory.

Objects are an important part of our memory, history, and identity; as she states, ‘they have their own unique story and create their own character’ and they lead the narrative. Clay holds within its molecules the memory of what has been done with it, just as we keep our memories within us. Through her artistic process, Saba rebuilds her own narrative and personal identity.

Through her art practice, which encompasses drawing, ceramics, and printmaking, Saba Heravi explores the idea of home, and how memory and identity are transformed through time and geography. Saba was born in Iran in 1989 and moved to Canada in 2012. She graduated with a BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in 2019 and also holds a M.Eng in Building Engineering.  Her work has been exhibited in group exhibitions in Montreal since 2016, and she has completed artist residencies in Montreal and will start a ceramic research residency at Maison des métiers d’art de Québec in 2022. Saba Heravi gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for a Research and Creation grant to develop this exhibition.

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